Letter to the Editor: Obama’s vision for a nuclear free world

Iowa City
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By Brittany Kimzey, Intern at Global Zero

These days, it feels like we’re constantly bombarded with tragic news, terrorism, toxic waste spills, cyber attacks — you name it. As a millennial, these sort of events are all I really know of the world, thanks to the internet. But as I scroll between depressing headlines on Facebook, I imagine how those stories would change if I put the word “nuclear” in the title: nuclear terrorism, nuclear waste spill and nuclear cyber attack. With over 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, the nuclear threat is what we need to be worrying about.

Last week, President Obama became the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima, where, 71 years ago, the United States first used a nuclear weapon. He’s said nice words about eliminating nuclear weapons before; in 2009, President Obama laid out a vision for a world without nuclear weapons during a speech in Prague, winning a Nobel Peace Prize in the process. Since then, Obama has unfortunately done little to act on this vision, his proposed $1 trillion budget strictly for modernizing the US nuclear arsenal being a huge step in the wrong direction.

The future doesn’t have to be filled with more tragic events. We still have the opportunity to prevent nuclear war and nuclear terrorism, by eliminating all nuclear weapons everywhere. If President Obama is still serious about this, now is the time to act.

This letter was originally published in Little Village issue 200.